Saturday 26 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Shenandoah’s valley

Shenandoah’s valley

If you write what you know, you better know some pain, preaches Shenandoah Davis, whose ‘art-parlour pop’ reflects a heart-wrenching past.

Joshua Boydston November 16th, 2011

Shenandoah Davis with Penny Hill
9 p.m. Thursday
113 N. Crawford, Norman

Attention, songwriters in the making: Seattle-based chamber-pop musician Shenandoah Davis has a few words of advice for you.

“If you’re an aspiring artist who doesn’t feel like you have enough experiences to write genuine songs about yet, then go and travel and get into a couple doomed romantic relationships and get your hands dirty and mess up a little bit,” she said. “It seems scary to write that close to home, but there are plenty of wealthy kids whose parents bought them cars when they graduated from high school, toting around guitars and writing songs about how they wish they were farmers, or about mountain ranges they’ve never seen and emotions they’ve never felt, which always come off as disingenuous ... not to mention boring.”

Davis certainly took heed of her own words of wisdom. Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains, she learned piano at 3, and studied classical music and opera in college. Then wanderlust set in, and Davis meandered across the states before settling in Seattle. Her dainty piano, pretty vocal harmonies, string arrangements and tight percussion meld into a sound she and her bandmates have dubbed “art-parlour pop,” akin to Joanna Newsom or local Sherree Chamberlain.

“I guess that I sort of create my own dream version of my world,” Davis said. “I try to take events that I have seen and things that I have experienced and blow them up in my mind ... to create these kind of cinematic and sometimes heart-wrenching scenarios.”

Davis now has two full-length albums to her name, including this year’s “The Company We Keep,” which she recorded over the course of a year in her newly adopted hometown, with the result “far more epic” than she expected. It’s been something of a success, given the limitations of its humble, independent release, landing on college-radio charts and achieving steady critical praise.

“I’ve never considered the style of music I’m writing to be one that a mainstream audience would enjoy, but so far, all of the reviews have been glowing,” she said.

Her three-month U.S. trek winds down Thursday at Opolis, before heading to New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and more faraway places.

“There will definitely be some more adventuring before it’s time to start making another record,” she said.

Photo by Jenn Sweeney

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